Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi
Directed by Frank Capra
1946 / 130 Minutes / Liberty Films / Paramount Pictures
A BLU-RAY REVIEW
I hate to admit it, but this was the first time I have seen It’s A Wonderful Life. I’m not sure why it’s taken me this long. It was never my go to movie at Christmas, but I have always wanted to see it. No surprises here I loved it and understand why it’s so beloved.
Now for the problem – not with the movie, but with trying to review it. I find it really difficult to review classics like this. How can I not say this film is brilliant in every way. I couldn’t possibly criticize it. There are some technical issues, but it was 1946! What more can I say other than I loved it’s a perfect and extraordinary piece of filmmaking.
The new 70th Anniversary Edition is great. The video is crisp and looks stunning in full HD. There are a few scratches here and there that I wondered why they couldn’t just digitally remove, maybe for the 100th Anniversary 20K Edition? The audio is also quite impressive for an older film. A bit of a setback is the special features. They are pretty good, but I expected more for a Platinum Anniversary Edition. There is an original theatrical trailer from its first run which is always fascinating to watch and see the progression of movie trailers and how they have evolved. There is also a Making of Documentary Featurette which looks like it originally aired on television in the 80’s and unfortunately is not in HD. Another feature also includes is the colourized version. I didn’t view that disc as I really don’t understand why anyone would want to watch this movie in colour, but it’s nice of them to include it. I’m glad there are some special features here, but there must be more content in a vault somewhere which would have added nicely to this edition.
It’s A Wonderful Life is a timeless classic and this blu-ray is a must own for the collection!